Handbook of Research on the Psychological Contract at Work
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Handbook of Research on the Psychological Contract at Work

Edited by Yannick Griep and Cary Cooper

The psychological contract is considered a critical construct in organizational behavior literature because it informs employee emotions, attitudes, and behaviors in the workplace. Although the psychological contract has been explored extensively over the last 50 years, numerous theoretical, conceptual, empirical, methodological, and analytical changes have pushed the field forward. As such, it is time to take stock and move forward. The contributors to this Handbook explore in detail this important component of modern management thinking.
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Chapter 13: Thresholds and non-linear and differential effects in psychological contract research

Thomas Rigotti and Jeroen de Jong


Psychological contracts have been extensively studied as a framework for describing social exchange processes implied in employment relationships. An important stream of research has dealt with the consequences of psychological contract evaluations. Over the years, growing evidence has indicated that the psychological contract–outcome link is not a simple linear one. In this chapter, the authors review theoretical ideas as well as different study designs and empirical approaches dealing with non-linear relations between psychological contract evaluations and diverse outcomes. They also discuss the role of moderator variables at the macro-level (societal system, culture, and labour market), meso-level (organisational characteristics, culture, and politics), and micro-level (individual characteristics). This chapter contributes to a nuanced understanding of differential effects caused by psychological contracts, and provides ideas for future refinement of theoretical processual models linking the formation and dynamic changes of psychological attitudes to the behaviour as well as the well-being of employees.

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